Category Archives: death of print media

Mental Detox week

Via the Phlog:

Happy Mental Detox week! Yeah, so Mental Detox week began on Monday and I have yet to actually turn anything off – or at least the things that AdBusters, who launched the original TV Turn-Off week (now renamed Mental Detox Week) back in 1994, want me to. AdBusters has changed the guidelines to be both more forgiving and more inclusive. Sign of the times: I actually (unintentionally) haven’t turned on my TV at all this week, which means if it was still plain-old TV Turn-Off Week, I’d be all “Hey, no problem! I can go without TV easily,” but the Internet?! Here’s the thing, a job that requires staring at Snap Judgments and bus stop street art on the Internets all day + IFFB + newly downloaded episodes of My So-Called Life, which I can’t believe I’m still obsessing over, via Miro + Does seeing live music count? Because I’ve already done that twice this week = Too Many Complications for Mental Detoxification. FAIL.

Here’s what AdBusters wants me to do:

“Today you’re not going to listen to your iPod. You aren’t going to stare at a computer screen any more than you absolutely have to. Today you won’t worry about unanswered email, and you’re not going to login to Facebook. You’ll cut the time you spend on digital devices right down to the bone.

In the evening maybe you will watch your favorite TV show for an hour, but after that you switch off, have a conversation, wash the dishes, read for a bit, and just relax. You do that for five days, and then on Friday night you make a decision to unplug completely for the whole weekend.

For a couple of days you might feel like an addict in withdrawal: peevish, agitated, and distracted. But then something will happen. Your over-stimulated brain will cleanse itself. You’ll relax. You’ll feel calmer, more grounded.”

The fact that all of this is posted on a website (and now I’m reposting it on a blog) is sort of cloaked in irony – how are we supposed to spread the word about Mental Detox Week and actually detox at the same time? Smoke signals? Snail-mail chain letters? Don’t get me wrong, Mental Detox week would be great if I could take the week off and go camping at Yosemite, gather a group of friends and a cooler of cold beverages (but no road-tripping tunes, of course!!), but I can’t. I guess this is just my way of saying “Hi, My name is Caitlin, and I’m addicted to glorious, musical, visually-stimulating technology, AKA mental toxins.”

In praise of Bradley.

Melrose mural flick by mattie b from Boston Street Art on Flickr.

Allow me to put cynicism aside and gush for a moment, about all of the musical awesomeness that 2007’s already offered (see: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The National) or not-so-officially offered yet, but everyone’s heard it anyway (see: Spoon, Spoon, Spoon), and the accompanying tours – which are occasionally amazing, other times decidedly unamazing (see: Modest Mouse). Regardless, Bradley’s got the MP3’s for ya, so you don’t need to trust Joan, or Jed or whomever (not that their well-written opinions aren’t valid and/or informative), and this makes me wonder – why isn’t this standard fare for show reviews? Obviously the experience of a live show cannot translate entirely to an MP3 clip or a You Tube video. Still, Bradley’s onto something here – or rather has been onto something during the past few years he’s offered these live gems. If the news sites are offering clips with features and album reviews (MP3s and JPEGs have been the standard add-ons to any music-related features I’ve written lately), why not live clips with show reviews? Plug ’em in, give readers a taste of what happened.

The answer: shrinking budgets, which don’t allow for a writer, a photographer and someone to man the audio recorder at a show. Sigh. Maybe someday…

In the meantime, enjoy Bradley’s Arcade Fire, Ben Gibbard and David Bazan offerings.